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How to pray for missionaries before, during, and after their trip

By: barb ready

We've all been there: Someone you love is headed out on a mission trip and they ask you to partner with them in prayer. But then you close your eyes to pray and you have no idea what to say after, "Bless this trip..."

As I prepare for my first short-term NewSpring mission trip, I’ve realized the most important thing we can do to support a missionary and their team is to pray and pray specifically. 

In Matthew 7:7, Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Prayer is powerful. We know it, and we want to do it. 

So if you’re not sure how to pray, here are practical ways to pray before the trip, during the trip, and after the trip. Use this list as a guide, and add in requests specific to different missions.

Prayer Before The Trip

While preparing for the trip, there are three essential needs you can pray for:

  • Pray for material needs. 

Pray that God would miraculously provide all the funds for the trip. Most missionaries, whether they are leaving for a week or a year, say yes to the trip before they know how all the details will come together. Seeing how God provides, both financially and materially, can grow faith in the missionary and in you. 

  • Pray that people would be open to hearing God’s message. 

Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them” (John 6:44).  Even though the purpose of the trip may be to build a school, ultimately the mission is for the hearts of the people. Asking God to prepare people’s hearts for His message is a great way to pray leading up to a trip. 

  • Pray for wisdom from the Bible. 

Jesus said, “Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him” (John 7:18). If we want to give people something true and lasting, it is important that God's Word supports every message we share. Pray that the missionary’s study time before the trip empowers them on the trip. 

Prayers During The Trip

If there was ever a prime time for spiritual attack, it would be while the missionary is on the field. Consider these practical ways to pray during the trip.

  • Pray for safe travel and good health. 

International travel in today’s world it makes us all nervous. Knowing people are praying for safety helps relieve the traveler’s anxiety. 

International travel can also bring on a variety of health risks, from different foods to eat, diseases we aren’t normally exposed to, and sheer exhaustion. Missionaries take every physical and practical precaution to stay healthy, but praying for supernatural protection can put their minds at ease.

  • Pray for boldness and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. 

Acts 28:31 says Paul was able to “proclaim the Kingdom with all boldness and without hindrance.” It’s great that we can help with physical needs, but without the boldness to proclaim the Gospel was it all in vain? Sharing your faith isn’t always easy, so it is imperative we rely on the Holy Spirit to prompt us and to speak through us (Luke 12:12).

  • Pray for new and unexpected opportunities to share the Gospel. 

All missionaries go with a purpose. Long before they leave, planning teams talk with churches and governments to establish exactly what the mission will be. But that is only the open door to get into the country. Once there, God could provide different opportunities to minister. With the power of the Holy Spirit, doors that may otherwise stay closed will suddenly be wide open.

Prayers After The Trip

We may think once the trip is over and the team has returned home, they no longer need prayer. That is not the case. 

Missionaries have poured themselves out physically and emotionally. Many return home spiritually and physically depleted. Immediately after the trip, here is one way to pray for the Lord to restore them.

  • Pray for joy. 

Pray that the Lord would remind the missionary of the good work they have done and that He will be faithful to complete it. Pray that “the God of hope fill them with all joy and peace as they trust in him” (Romans 15:13). 

When I leave for Haiti, I’ll be headed to a new country without my husband or my girlfriends. I’ll be traveling with a group of people I have never met. This is a bold move, but I am grateful my church family will be praying for us before, during and after the mission. 

Is a mission trip your next step? See upcoming trips at

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